Evidence demonstrating value of eco-therapy, says psychotherapist

The Snowdonia National Park in Wales is being used to treat people with specialist mental health conditions.

The ‘eco-therapy’ sessions are being led by art psychotherapist Pamela Stanley in association with the Besti Cadwaladr health board.

Eco-therapy is the name for treatment programmes conducted in the natural environment. Previously, it has been linked with a range of health benefits to both the mind and body.

Now, Ms Stanley believes this kind of therapy can improve the mood of patients with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

“There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the value of eco therapy, eco psychology and environmental arts therapy,” she said speaking to the BBC.

“The sessions give service users an opportunity to explore difficulties with other people who have similar problems and this provides a stepping stone towards improved engagement with friends and family.”

Mental illness is one of the main causes of the overall disease burden worldwide, according to charity Mental Health. In the UK, It is estimated that one in six people are affected by common mental health symptoms.